Dear Christ Church,
In this final enews of 2022 I want to bring together two threads and invite our church into a reflection.
First, a ministry highlight for me this past year was preaching through Revelation. One of my chief goals in that series was to help everyone trust God’s Word more deeply. I have a foundational conviction that when we look at the brokenness of the world, Scripture gives us the blueprint of how to respond. It’s not a blueprint for what to do in every single situation of life. Rather, we hear in God’s Word the mythic-yet-true story of how God has entered the world and how he calls us to join him in the cooperative act of building his kingdom.
Second, in our recent sermon series “Becoming Tenders of the Garden” Fr Cliff mentioned that there are different seasons in the spiritual life. I’ve pondered in response to that sermon: “What season am I in in my love of Scripture?” I have a second conviction that there is a sacramental way of reading Scripture so that the Bible becomes a meeting place for encounter with God.
Let me suggest a reflection for this year’s end. You might ask these questions to discern what season you’re in with Scripture:
Do I truly believe the Bible is good news for me, for the poor, for sinners, for the hurting?
Do I believe that God wants to connect with me and Scripture is a primary meeting place?
Can I read the Bible and see that God has shared solidarity with us sinners and wants to redeem all the brokenness and injustice I see in the world?
As you enter 2023 here are a few recommendations for ways you might enter God’s Word more deeply.
Dwell Bible App: This is a wonderful way to hear Scripture read. They even have playlists like “The Parables of Jesus” which I listen to often on my commutes.
Daily Psalm and Bible: This is one daily practice that has helped me. In whatever time you have, read one psalm and one chapter of a gospel. The Psalms are the prayerbook of the church and the Gospels are the center of the Bible pulling together the whole story of Scripture.
For 2023, do whatever it takes to become immersed in God’s Word. You have full permission to read and doodle in the margins, to go through long chunks in a translation you’ve never tried before, to workout and listen to Scripture, to slow down and hear God’s Word freshly in The Message Bible or First Nations Version of the New Testament. May 2023 become the year of believing the Bible holds very Good News for our world and your life.
*PS, remember Lessons and Carols is at 10am this Sunday as our only service.